On December 1st, all matters associated with the 2018 World Cup to be hosted in Russia will be finalized. We will know the groups, we will know what our chances are going forward.

Bouncy Bouncy Ball, where she stops is…. in the Group of Death?! NO put that ball back into the bowl.

This is actually the fun part of the World Cup, the long six month waiting period. The World Cup despite being a month long tournament goes by too fast, these six months preceding the World Cup are to be soaked in, like smelling the cork of a wine bottle. You first need to come to terms that this group is to your liking. Most of the time World Cup Groups are to no one’s liking unless your team happens to be Brazil or Argentina.

Hi kids, I’m a fuzzy Wolf, I know you wanna high-five me or give me a hug BUT next to me is a Fuzzy Fat Guy who used to play for Brazil… trust me, follow him, whatever group his team is drawn into is going to be a joke! Brazil will score many goals against joke opponents and you’ll have loads of fun!

In the 1950 World Cup, Uruguay were situated with ONLY Bolivia, making it the greatest group Uruguay were ever put in, Uruguay demonstrated how much they loved that group by scoring 8 goals on Bolivia! But since that tournament, the groups have pretty much determined Uruguay’s fate in the World Cup. The one thing we can agree on when it comes to Group seeding is, you don’t want to be drawn in the Group of Death. From the time most of us could crawl, our fathers have taught us, you don’t want the Group of Death, avoid it like the plague.

Omar Borras, inventor of the Group of Death is hammered by the press.

The principle theory behind a Group of Death is, all sides are considered good with 2 being very strong but the remaining two can present a problem so they all in effect cancel each other. In other words, the Group of Death becomes a crap-shoot. The Group of Death is something uniquely Uruguayan, Uruguay, which had just emerged from a brutal military dictatorship in 1985, were drawn into the Group of Death in 1986 – so said Omar Borras (Uruguay’s manager at the time) and the phrase has been historically attributed to him. We got West Germany, Denmark and Scotland. While Uruguay survived the Group of Death despite a still horrible loss to Denmark (6-1), Uruguay’s reputation took a hit after a pragmatic draw with Scotland got them through to the second round. It took years for Uruguay to recover, referees never again called a Uruguay game favorably after that match. Tackles, rough-play of any kind were spotted and dealt with quickly. We earned a reputation that still persists to this day, ugly losers or worse, thugs.

In Howard Cosell voice “Down goes Strachan, Down goes Strachan!” – Scotland’s Strachan gets fouled, Uruguay escapes the Group of Death but exits the 1986 World Cup as all-around scumbags!

In 1990, Argentina were drawn into the Group of Death, Uruguay, then coached by Tabárez, made it out of their group which featured Belgium, Spain and South Korea. But Tabarez’ side were labeled a team of school girls (El Equipo de Señoritas) because they didn’t play with the ruthlessness the ’86 Borras side had shown; Tabárez wasn’t brought back, instead Uruguay’s 1990 exit kick-started the whole Casal era, which then gave us Cubilla and the Expatriates issue, which then gave us two straight qualification failures (1994 & 1998).

In 2002, Argentina once again got the Group of Death and although we didn’t get the Group of Death we were saddled in a group which featured Denmark, Defending World Cup Champion France and Senegal. Uruguay were revealed to be a mess and managed by a clueless coach in Victor Púa, a loss to Denmark and two consecutive draws saw us eliminated in the Group Stage. If it wasn’t the Group of Death, it sure felt like it.

1966 World Cup Draw – “Gentleman, England, France, Uruguay and Mexico have been drawn into the Group of Death … but let’s not call it the Group of Death, lets just call it, I don’t know…. Group 1?”

But truth be told, we were drawn “officially” into the Group of Death before – in 1966, we were slotted with England, France and Mexico – we squeaked by but lost infamously to West Germany and when that tournament was over, Ondino Viera (Uruguay’s manager at the time), saw his impressive reputation get flushed down the toilet. That tournament saw “rebeldía” take on a whole different meaning when Uruguayan players wanted to promptly kick Ondino Viera’s ass after he had done much to lower team spirits leading up and during the tournament. Suffice it to say, Ondino Viera did not fly with the team back to Uruguay. And before in 1962 Uruguay were slotted in Group 1, which featured the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Colombia – this group saw Uruguay fall by the wayside. And the group that Uruguay were drawn into in 1974 was no bed of roses (Holland, Sweden & Bulgaria). A Group of Death can become a Group of Death when teams send unprepared sides to a tournament, like Uruguay did in 1962, 1974 & 2002.

Denmark’s Jon Dahl Tomasson annihilates Uruguay in 2002 – However, it wasn’t really the Group, it was really all Púa’s fault!

FIFA has made things decisively different in recent years, as the following rule demonstrates:

“The principle of drawing the teams into the groups will remain unchanged. Hence, no teams from the same confederation, with the exception of UEFA, which could have up to two teams in the same group, will be drawn into the same group.”

While this protects a Non-European side from being drawn with a nation in their confederation, it still doesn’t protect you from being drawn into the Group of Death. There are arguments to be made that Groups of Death no longer exist, but this is not all together true, you can still earn a ticket to ride right into the Group of Death – a top four UEFA side, a middle of the pack UEFA side and an African Side can still spell a world of trouble. Take for example Group G of the 2014 World Cup, Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the United States. It depends what team you are in the Group of Death but any weakness will be pounced on in the Group of Death – So Ghana which rode into the Quarterfinals in 2010 World Cup didn’t even make it out of the Group Stage in 2014.

2014 Group of Death survivors and World Cup Champions Germany – mentally tough and built to last.

Surviving the Group of Death can sometimes toughen you up, in 1986, three teams made it out of the Group of Death, West Germany, Denmark and Uruguay – but only one made it to the final (West Germany). In 2014, Germany won it all after escaping the Group of Death – The Group of Death is a philosophy really, teams have to be mentally tough going into the World Cup. These six months aren’t to be taken lightly. Qualification is one thing, you just want to go in, but constructing a team to win it all is a whole different animal.

The question is do you want the Group of Death or do you avoid it? The answer is, you really have no choice. Its up to the manager to create a team strong enough to emerge a winner regardless of the group you’ve been drawn into.

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ahaha.. “el grupo de la muerte” by means of boredom that is.. gotta sandbag for the 2nd place to avoid espan~a.. assuming they win their group.. portugal, on a given day is beatable, spain.. not so much..
we open against egipt (salam and 10 more.. literally – no worries el maestro will put el tata on him)
then saudi arabia – if we don’t hang 6 on them we need to just come back..
finally the host nation.. an agreeable unpleasant tie would do..


oops.. wrong.. 2nd place gives us spain if they are 1st..
it is a hard road no matter what.. top notch quarterfinals all over..


in the round of 16 we would have to get past either portugal or spain.. doesn’t look as promising as the corea game in 2010..
and after that arg.. croatia if argentina fails..
this is a hard world cup.. the group is easy.. after that.. don’t know..


The overal power of our group is 45 is there a weaker one is my question? We cant deny we were lucky today. We get some games to gain confidence, so that this team can bring its best version to the knockoutstage hopefully. Nice birthday present for me 🙂


Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia!!!! Great group BUT the knockout stage is no fun….we will likely have to play either Spain or Portugal if we advance…….


I like the idea of playing vs ronaldo even when he is the current european champion (club and national team).


I’m calling it: Uruguay out of pot 2 first, drawn in a group with Russia. Opening match: Russia vs Uruguay, 14 June 2018, with the whole world watching. Throw in a Nordic nation like Iceland and then Australia for added drama.

I can’t wait for the draw.

Alessandro Viña


Here we go….
This will truly mark the end of Arevalo Rios and push Tata Gonzalez further out as well.


This is really making something out of nothing: very creative.

At least there are other “small countries”: Croatia, Panama, Costa Rica, Iceland, the last one even smaller than Uru, but of course much more affluent. So I hope this time around we won’t hear the “small country” excuse.

Alessandro Viña


Draw simulaltor… have fun everyone

Alessandro Viña

This simulator is a much better one

Alessandro Viña

I got Germany, Uruguay, Denmark, and Saudi Arabia.
The key to this draw is that it’s set up in way where you can get one side of the bracket filled with your traditoinal powerhouses and the others with lesser teams. In my draw I had, Argentina, Brazil , Spain, Colombia, Portugal, Mexico, France and England all on one side. While from Groups A-D the stronger teams included, Germany, Belguim, Croatia and Switzerland.










Well, this is almost identical to Mexico 86 draw – for Uruguay 😉


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